ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Even with players in shorts and shells -- they weren't in pads for the first time since July 27 -- Head Coach John Fox called Friday's session "scrappy," and there were plenty of big plays to go around on both sides of the ball.
Let's get right to the recap.
Only one player was limited in Friday's practice -- tackle Ryan Clady.
Justin Boren (toe), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle), Jacob Tamme (quad), Sylvester Williams (knee) and Derek Wolfe (illness) did not participate in the session.
Fox said Williams is "getting a lot closer" to a return to the field, and explained that the team "sent (Wolfe) home to get well and not infect our other players."
- It would be hard to pick a player of the day from Friday's practice, which was filled with highlights. But Ronnie Hillman is certainly a candidate. Early on in nine-on-seven drills focused on running plays, Hillman broke a run to the sideline for what would've been a first down, drawing cheers from the crowd. But in full-team drills he had an even more impressive showing, bursting up the middle before finding the sideline and sprinting for a touchdown.
"The last two days, he's been very impressive," Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase said after practice. "It's good to see him really develop." * Another candidate could be Danny Trevathan, who snared another impressive interception during red-zone drills. On the first play of the period, Peyton Manning's pass was swatted away in coverage by Tony Carter, but Trevathan came away with the pick before the ball hit the ground, much to the delight of the crowd and the linebacker's defensive teammates. * On the very next play during that red-zone period, Manning found Wes Welker past the coverage of Chris Harris and Wesley Woodyard for a touchdown in the back of the end zone. * In the next set of red-zone plays, it was Woodyard's turn to get in on the action, breaking up a pass intended for Joel Dreessen at the last second. On the next two plays, however, Manning found Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas for touchdowns. * Shaun Phillips notched what would've been two sacks on quarterback Brock Osweiler during team drills. * Osweiler made two plays of his own during red-zone drills, first hitting Andre Caldwell for a touchdown -- the receiver went up and over cornerback Kayvon Webster -- and later rushing in for the score by himself. * During special-teams drills, Trindon Holliday broke a long return down the sideline with Jeremiah Johnson sprinting beside him, signaling that it would've been a touchdown. * In one-on-one drills between receivers and cornerbacks, Eric Decker beat Champ Bailey for two catches, the second of which featured a nice cut that drew "ooohs" from the crowd. * Among the defensive standouts in those same one-on-one drills were David Bruton, who had a pick, and Tony Carter and Kayvon Webster, who had breakups. Welker and Harris continued their fun-to-watch back-and-forths in the drill. On consecutive attempts, Welker hauled in a pass and Harris knocked one away in tight coverage. * During the final team drills, Manning hit Demaryius Thomas over the middle ahead of Von Miller in coverage and Osweiler rolled to his right before firing a pass to Gerell Robinson on the sideline.
- New Broncos center/guard Ryan Lilja worked on snapping the ball to Osweiler before practice began, then spent some time snapping to Manning after the individual drill was finished.
- During a break in practice, punter Ryan Doerr threw a deep pass to fellow punter Britton Colquitt, who dove into a group of blocking dummies to make the catch.
- Broncos Ring of Famer Terrell Davis watched practice while working for NFL Network. After the session he interviewed Montee Ball, who named Davis as his idol.
- During special-teams drills, Ryan Clady, Chris Kuper (who is on the physically unable to perform list) and Sylvester Williams worked with Strength and Conditioning Coach Luke Richesson off to the side.